Sunday, August 14, 2005

Venezuela news roundup: real cheap politics and electoral fraud again

A roundup? You mean there were other news besides the Sunday election commentary?

Well, yes, there was other news, including information on possible electoral fraud. Thus in no particular order as all the news are equally bad.

The DEA is out

President Chavez decided to sever ties with the US Drugs Enforcement Agency. One at first would wonder what would be the interest of Venezuela in breaking up with the DEA, which acts conjointly with all sorts of anti drug traffic agency. But apparently they were spying or something. No kidding... Of course the DEA is spying everywhere, or how else do you think they can catch drug traffickers? But soon the US announced that the visa was revoked to 3 National Guard officers (rumors are that they are actually involved in drug trafficking themselves). The reader can draw its own conclusions, this blogger limiting itself to think aloud about the continued decomposition of the Venezuelan army.

Do not miss the take of Manuel Caballero on "Narcochavismo" today!

The US is on trial at the "Youth Festival"

While commentators where wondering about the Sunday results the Youth and Students festival was inaugurated. This left over from the communist party better days turned out as expected, a silly crusade against the US. Of course, it was disguised first as some affair to fight for peace and anti globalization. But that would have carried the progressive and democratic veneer of the Porto Alegre Forum. No qualms here to shift to an all out attack on the US. In the country of the benevolent leader that sank around 50 USD per day per attendee (according to the National Assembly "extra budgetary credit"), all is allowed as long as his image is glorified, with Castro's along but Bush/US vilified as mush as possible. In a week where we learnt that HIV medicines are short and that the public hospitals have asked private clinics to help with radiography services as all the ones in the public sector are out of order, a simple calculation shows that the government has sunk at least an admitted 9 millon USD in a festival which gave us the following highlights:
  • Revolutionary youth of the world shopping at fancy Caracas malls electronic stores
  • Revolutionary Cuban young women shopping for soap and shampoo in downtown Caracas
  • Revolutionary concerts free for attendees. Local kids that wanted to go also (there was plenty of room in some of those concerts) where not allowed in
  • A mock trial against Imperialism (a.k.a. as the United States of America) where all the evidence against the US 200 years of imperialist career was presented. Interestingly the accusatory part was Eva Golinger, US attorney who made a specialty of accusing Venezuelan opposition figures for not even a fraction of what she did against her country today. But the US is a democracy and Venezuela has ceased to be one. I am not sure if Ms. Golinger realizes how disgraced she came out today.
  • An hysterical 12 year old Cuban kid who had been brain washed and who broke at least a dozen of Venezuelan laws and regulations with his speech live on state TV. The kid words were so incendiary that Globovision had to "beep" them, but they made it live on VTV who, we are sure, will not be molested by the state regulatory agencies (1).
  • And who knows how many "cadenas" for El Supremo inspiring words.
All of this duly documented in Venezuelan papers, including moderately pro Chavez Ultimas Noticias who probably could not believe its own ears and eyes (2). Plus the mock trial on the festival web site for Eva whereabouts in her Caracas Rose starring role

Electoral fraud

Friday night on Globovision we had Alfredo Keller declaring that his vote was not reflected in the table where he voted, according to the CNE web page. Miguel reports today with his juicy comments that in addition of the extraordinary number of null votes, the CNE admitted that results were erroneously reported on the CNE web page. Today we read the interview of Tulio Alvarez where he comes right out to say that the August 7 elections were fraudulent. Thus the numbers of votes, the abstention, the results, are all meaningless. The only thing that is true is the empty voting stations so amply reported everywhere while we are still waiting for the documented evidence for voting stations with long voting lines that "forced" the CNE to extend voting hours for three hours. All serious observers concur to suspect that these three hours where part of the fraud.

But the biggest fraud was that the CNE accepted the "morochas" of chavismo allowing basically the double vote of chavismo. If we count the null votes (amazing by themselves, read Miguel) we find out that with about 30% of the votes Chavez party get about 60% of the seats at stake. With its allies it gets about 80% while its dissidence is spoiled of its few seats and end up rioting in the streets. But a deal must have been reached as the Tupamaros rioting last week have announced that they were going back into the fold, that there was no fraud. Sure, guys, suddenly you saw the light... The reader again can draw it own conclusions.

But we are left with a few questions that need to be answered by the CNE, no that it would help them greatly at this point as their reputation is pretty much shot in both camps.
Why the voting prolongation? How come there is NO HARD EVIDENCE at this point that there was a need to keep voting stations open three more hours? How come you knew that there was voting lines through the finger print machines which supposedly do not communicate with the CNE during voting hours? Was the CNE electronically linked to voting stations in spite of your promises? Were you again monitoring who was voting for whom and where and when?

Why so many Null votes? Why the automated system with Smartmatic, that cost us a fortune and still gives us 17% null, huge delays in reporting, and bad reporting anyway? (Do not miss a new great investigative reporting by Alek Boyd on the cheats at Smartmatic and how US electoral districts would be well advised before trusting their electronic votes to such people!)
And many more questions that could be asked, but the reader surely will consider this enough to draw more conclusions. By the way Sobella, how long until you quit the CNE? Or must this blogger decide once and for all that you are actually an active accomplice in the forgeries of the Rodriguez sleaze team?

=== === === === === ===
(1) Venezuelan laws forbid the appearance of kids at political events. In addition, the new "gag" law forbids obscenity and diverse bad languages during kid TV hours, hours when that particular "pionerito" pronounced his hysterical words. This is a judicial no-brainer, but of course, I advise people not to hold their breath waiting for the sanctions.

(2) Ultimas Noticias and El Nacional reported on the HIV drugs deficiency (subscription only, as Tal Cual, sorry!). One of my friends taking them confirmed to me that indeed gaps are now frequent and CD4 monitoring deficient. But he considers himself lucky as he has not been without drugs for more than a week though it happened more than once. He does not know whether he is getting the real thing or Cuban generics. The collapsed radiation system has been extensively reported, in particular by Tal Cual. Again I have a relative on a long waiting list for anti tumor drugs. He will get radition AFTER the chimiotherapy. Hopefully things will work better then. How many pounds of HIV drugs can be bought and how many radiation reactors can be fixed with 9 million USD?

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